The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project

The Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project is a nationally recognized non-profit organization jointly governed by three founding member groups: a teachers union, a faith based community organizing group and a school district. Our project increases trust and communication between schools and families using a proven model of voluntary and relational home visits that build the capacity of educators, families and students leading to increased success for all.
Nov 27, 2012

Parent Teacher Home Visit Project...the movement!

I believe the paradigm needs to be shifted in public schools,  specifically schools serving the poor. Less energy needs to be spent on complaining, or at best brainstorming, how we teachers can get parents to step foot through our school doors.  Instead, I challenge the shift to start with first asking if we would step foot through the parents’ front door. The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project makes such a shift possible for teachers. 

Stephanie Smith, Oakridge Elementary School, Sacramento.

When school districts are under fiscal and accountability pressures, family and community engagement is usually the first thing to go.  Given dramatic reductions in funding for public education these are challenging times for our colleagues across the country.  In the midst of this, we went ahead and planned for our Sixth National Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project annual gathering in Denver, Colorado.  We wondered if we should scale back our plans or trust our instincts that we needed to gather now, more than ever. We trusted our instincts as did our supporters - CS Mott Foundation National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and PICO National Network- and our many partners schools across thirteen states!  

Thanks to a coordinated effort we were able to gather together 260 parents, caregivers, community members, educators and administrators for the Sixth National Parent Teacher Home Visit Project. Conference participants are directly involved in the experience of conducting or receiving home visits as well as leading the effort in their local communities.  Whether it was Melissa Bryant , a veteran teacher, or Katrina Branch, a parent and former student, both from Stanton Elementary School in Washington DC who experienced a school that was a “hot mess”  move into a place where students experienced dramatic increases in student test scores.  Or Yvette Juarez, a middle school student in Denver CO,  who talked about what it meant to her to have a teacher come to her home and talk about her success in school.  Or the teachers who were on the verge of quitting or families on the verge of giving up on their local schools or the community members tired of seeing their children drop out and lose opportunity, the home visiting testimony and experiences demonstrated that relational home visits are a key foundation step leading to increased family engagement, better teaching and learning, and increased student academic and social success. The testimony helps us understand the power of the numbers.  

Here’s what we tallied in our time together: 

In just the past year, network partners under the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project trained 2577 teachers.  We expanded to 209 participating school sites in 13 states.  Together, we conducted 13,391 relational home visits! Given preliminary counts for this coming year, I expect our totals to go even higher next year- even with the challenges before us. At the conference we created the opportunity and space to deepen our work.  Network partners from around the country paired up and led breakout sessions where we shared data and data collection systems, adaptations of home visiting (in rural communities, for those whom English is a second language, and in secondary schools) and new learning that covered topics as diverse as the impact of trauma on school communities and teaching and learning, as well as, the introduction of Academic Parent Teaching Team conferencing in home visit schools. We also explored resources and reviewed current national policy and trends regarding family engagement and education reform.  We built our personal capacity to better sever students.  We strengthened our local projects by sharing and learning.  Mostly, we were inspired by each other and renewed in our commitment to this important work. We know that family and community engagement is an essential component for school and student success and we know that even in the face of difficult times, we must invest in this area for the sake of our students.  

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your conitnued support of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project. Without your generous donations this project would not be possible.  

From all the PTHVP staff we wish you a safe and happy holiday!  

Links:

Aug 23, 2012

Making Connections with Families Around the Nation

Dear Donor,

Thanks to your generous support of this project, we have had an extremely successful home visiting school year and summer.  Here are a few highlights:

California- Sacramento City USD completed close to 5000 home visits in the 11-12 school year at 43 K-12 sites!

Colorado- Denver has increased their home visit school sites to 35 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Massachusetts- Home visiting action in New Bedford and Lowell. Of course, the anchor, Springfield, continues to be very busy as a leader for parent/teacher home visits as part of their NEA foundation partnership!  Check out this great clip of a recent Springfield MA home visiting action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0qQBVwsAuk&feature=youtube_gdata_player .  

Minnesota- to date the PTHVP training team in St. Paul has trained over a 150 educators and expect the number to land closer to 200 before all is done this summer. 

Michigan- Romulus and Flint school districts are starting their first year of home visits. Good luck educators in Michigan!  We will provide you more information on their journey as the school year progresses.


Montana- has had a very busy month for home visiting efforts throughout the great state. They now have 4 training teams from 3 communities around the state ready to roll- Poplar, Helena and Great Falls!  All three presented at the statewide conference in Bozeman in June with PTHVP staff , who also connected with two other home visiting communities- Anaconda and Lewistown.  Helena is doing a great job with their expansion (district wide kindergarten readiness home visiting this year) and is developing policy language we hope to share soon!

 
New York - plans coming together to launch a middle school home visiting pilot in 2-3 middle schools in the 2012-2013 school year thanks to work by our union colleagues, the New York City Department of Education and the Coalition for Educational Justice.  We are heading out East to train educators in October. As part of these meetings we met an inspiring principal from a school in the Bronx that is already conducting home visits- check out this great coverage of their efforts:  http://engagingparentsinschool.edublogs.org/2012/07/05/learning-begins-at-home/ 

Nevada- Reno reports they are up to 20 sites where home visiting is taking place.

Ohio- Columbus, another anchor in our national network, has led districts through kindergarten transitional visits for years and is now branching out!  Folks in Columbus just reported that 60-70 new folks were trained and 600 home visits took place as part of the NEA priority schools campaign.

Oregon- Salem Oregon has also had some great home visiting press recently:  http://neapriorityschools.org/engaged-families-and-communities/home-visits-yield-hope-and-cooperation .  In July, one of their support staff champions, Juan Trujillo presented on their local home visiting effort at the National Education Association Conference in Washington DC!  More press due out this fall as well as plans for a train the trainer session.

Virginia- reports the Wakefield team conducted another training session for home visiting and has a team of 55 people assigned to make 245 transitional visits this summer.  Wakefield HS staff  have been great about reaching out to feeder schools and helping out with trainings in the DC area this past year.

Washington DC- home visit trainings are off and running- folks there report that 12 sessions have been completed and another 5 are set to go.  Additionally 3 middle schools are coming on board this year thanks to some additional federal funding that became available.  If you haven't already seen it- check out this terrific clip of the DC home visiting effort: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4RKfzTskCI .  

Washington - In June, the PTHVP team from Sacramento traveled to Marysville WA to train members of a middle school who are piloting the home visiting effort this year as part of their relationship with the NEA priority school campaign.

As you can see, your generous donations are truly making a difference in the lives of students, teachers and families across the nation.  We truly can not thank you enough for all the support!  Please keep it coming!

Sincerely,

The PTHVP team

Links:

Jun 1, 2012

Update from around the nation

Dear Parent Teacher Home Visit Partner,
 
Over the past few months we have been extremely busy working with educators and parents across this nation.  Below are a few highlights of the work your donations have helped us accomplish:
 
Nevada just held a statewide conference in Las Vegas where home visiting workshops had a really wonderful reception and where parents and teachers from Massachusetts and Washington DC had an opportunity to share their experiences and advice. The PTHVP folks also had a chance to connect with some truly dynamic family engagement leaders from around the country!

Speaking of Washington DC- hats off to the Flamboyan Foundation who put together an outstanding team for a train the trainers session in April.  We all learned a lot from the thoughtful and strategic background efforts that went into this session.  There are lots of plans for expansion in DC this coming year!

Wakefield Virginia continues their outstanding local championing for home visits.  Not only are they expanding their own summer transitional visits this year and trained new staff for that effort, but they also brought together teams from feeder schools to begin to broaden the effort throughout their community!
 
Montana is preparing for their big annual conference in June where several home visiting training opportunities will be available and will formally weave in the leadership and unique efforts from several different communities throughout the state.   The PTHVP is especially excited and humbled to see the amazing leadership of several folks who continue to carry on the work following the defunding of all the PIRC's.
 
Oregon's home visiting work will be featured in an upcoming issue of NEA Today as part of the ongoing Priority School Campaign (where sites from Michigan and Washington are coming on board this summer). Speaking of priority school campaign sites- Romulus Michigan just had their training to kick off efforts this month and our community organizing colleagues in Flint came to begin the process of networking to support their local efforts. Also, staff in Marysville, Washington has scheduled a training in June.
 
Columbus Ohio colleagues have been busy with visits (good numbers there) and training sessions and are forging some new partnerships with colleagues in nearby states!
Sacramento California will have 41 home visit school sites next year and all 41 sites gathered at our first ever, two day, cross district regional conference. This event was modeled after our national conference format, but was also specifically tailored to helps local sites nail down plans for home visiting at their sites for the coming summer and fall. We had representatives from 4 different school districts. The conference was very successful overall and we had some good insights about the kind of tweaking we need to do at the local level.
 
Finally, we encourage you to click on our links below to learn more about the project or to watch a short video clip featuring a parent and teacher who have both been changed by the project. I hope you are as inspired as we are by the work that is taking place at the grassroots level across this country.  We truly couldn't do it without donors like you!
 
Sincerely,
The PTHVP Staff

Links:

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